Cat INV1250 Spec Review

The Cat INV1250 is a quiet, compact and lightweight portable inverter generator with a rated wattage of 1000 W and a starting wattage of 1250 W.

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Description

Take your outdoor adventures to the next level with the Cat® INV1250 portable inverter generator. Inverter technology provides a high-quality power that's safe for your sensitive electronics. Cat® CO DEFENSE™Carbon Monoxide Sensing & Shutdown technology keeps you, your family, and friends safe. (source: Cat (opens in a new tab))

Zoom on the Cat INV1250

In summary, the Cat INV1250 is a quiet, compact and lightweight portable inverter generator especially useful for:

  • Camping and tailgating buffs looking to enhance their experience
  • Handcrafting enthusiasts who wish to work on-the-go

In the following paragraphs, we shall explore the power characteristics, available outlets, portability, and any additional features of the device, along with its emission compliance information.

Power & Run Time

The Cat INV1250 in use

The Cat INV1250

The Cat INV1250 houses a 60 cc OHV 4-stroke engine, which provides 120V, consumes gasoline and delivers a running wattage of 1000W along with a peak wattage of 1250W. Moreover, since it is parallel capable (parallel kit not included), its power may be doubled if linked to a second compatible unit.

With a noise rating of 52 dBA (just slightly more noisy than a quiet suburb), the inverter generator features a conventional pull-start mechanism.

Thanks to a fuel capacity of 0.8 gallon, the INV1250 can operate for around 7.9 hours at 50% load with a full tank (fuel consumption around 0.1 GPH).

Delicate electronics can be plugged in an AC outlet safely, as the INV1250 generates a clean sine wave, reaching a <3% Total Harmonic Disruption (THD).

Outlets

The control panel features the upcoming AC outlet:

120V 20A (5-20R) receptacle

Furthermore, it has 2 DC outlets: there's two 5V USB ports allowing you to conveniently charge electronics such as mobile phones and tablets.

Portability

As the Cat INV1250 is an inverter generator, its encased design (L18.3 x W11.5 x H16.6 in) offers more aesthetics than a conventional, open frame product. The generator has a contemporary design, convenient for recreationally generating power.

The INV1250 is a lightweight, portable generator, as it only weighs 33.1 lbs. The device can be easily moved by just one person and thus, its power may be enjoyed on-the-go. In addition, a handle (molded in the case) lets you carry it easily and further increases its convenience.

Features

Panel of the Cat INV1250

The INV1250's control panel

Several light indicators serve to show you when the oil level is too low, the generator is ready and the generator is on overload.

A built-in fuel gauge allows for a quick, easy and convenient check of the fuel level of the inverter generator.

From a security point of view, the generator is equipped with an overload protection (circuit breaker) and an automatic low oil shut-off, giving you a peace of mind during use.

The INV1250 also benefits from Cat’s CO DEFENSE™ carbon monoxide shutdown. This system monitors the accumulation of CO gas while the generator is running and will shut off the engine if the levels become dangerously high. It’s a welcomed additional security feature, but don’t forget to always take your generator outside (opens in a new tab).

Apart from the typical documentation and an owner's manual (opens in a new tab), which lets you start it right away, the Cat INV1250 also is packed along with the following accessories: funnel, oil and tool kit.

Emissions

The Cat INV1250 is EPA-approved and CARB-compliant. It can therefore be sold and purchased in all 50 states, including California.

Moreover, it features a spark arrestor and therefore, can be used in forested areas.

The Cat INV1250 versus other generators

The following charts are provided to give you an idea of how some of the key specs of the Cat INV1250 compare to generators of similar power (between 500 and 1500 W).

  • Regarding its weight, the Cat INV1250 only weighs in at 33.1 pounds, which means it's one of the lighter generators in the 500-1500 rated wattage range. In terms of weight, one of the champions in their power range is the Sportsman GEN1000i, standing at just 20.3 lbs.
  • With a lowest possible noise of 52 dBA, this inverter generator places itself amongst the more quiet of the products delivering similar power. If noise emissions are one of your priorities, you may be interested in the Honda EU1000i, one of the least noisy generators similarly powerful as this one, rated for 42 dBA.
  • Given that the INV1250 reaches an autonomy of around 7.9 hours with a full tank and at 50% load, it is placed within the average autonomy range of similarly powerful generators. If you consider autonomy on a single full tank as one of the deciding factors, one of the generators in the same power range that offers the highest run time is the Pulsar PG2000, with around 12 hours.
  • Autonomy holds its importance, however, it is largely dependent on the generator’s fuel capacity and so, it is nonsensible to discuss it without mentioning fuel efficiency as well. At an estimated fuel consumption of 0.1 GPH (gallon per hour) at 50% load, this inverter generator is a rather fuel efficient one within its wattage category. If you wish to acquire one of the most gasoline efficient products of this power range, the Ryobi RYi1000, with a fuel consumption of 0.08 GPH could be in your good books.

The bottom line

STRENGTHS:
  • CO DEFENSE™ technology
  • Several accessories included
  • Parallel capable
  • Inverter
  • Lightweight (33.1 lbs)
  • Quiet for its power (52 dBA)
  • Fuel efficient
AVERAGE SPECS:
  • Decent run time
WEAKNESSES:
  • No data center
  • Only 1 AC outlet
  • No electric start

Do you own the Cat INV1250 and agree (or disagree) with these strengths and weaknesses?

Let us know and write your own review.

Features and Specifications

General
InverterYes
PortableYes
Parallel capableYes, cable not included
RV readyNo
FuelGasoline
Engine60 cc OHV 4-stroke
Starting systemRecoil
Power
VoltageAC: 120V 60 Hz, DC: 5V
Running watts1000 W
Starting watts1250 W
Running amps8.3 amps
Peaks amps10.4 amps
Run time @50% load7.9 h
Run time @25% loadUnknown
Features
GFCI outletsNo
Covered outletsNo
Automatic Voltage RegulationInverter
AC outlets1x 120V 20A (5-20R)
DC outlets2x 5V USB port
Data centerNo
IndicatorsLow oil, overload and output ready
Fuel tankPlastic, 0.8 gal
Fuel gaugeYes
Misc
Weight33.1 lbs
Approx. dimensions (L x W x H)18.3 x 11.5 x 16.6 in
Noise (lower limit)52 dBA
THD< 3%
EmissionsCARB, EPA
SecurityLow oil and overload protection, CO monitoring
Spark arrestorYes
NeutralBonded to frame
Accessories includedOil, funnel, and tool kit
Warranty3 years
Other model numbers501-5453

Unlike many websites, we did our best to research each of the specs above. That being said, we are not immune to making the occasional mistake or omission. Should you notice any missing or incorrect values, don't hesitate to suggest improvements so we can address the issue.

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About Cat

Caterpillar Inc., often abbreviated as simply CAT, is an American engineering corporation, whose product range includes machinery, engines, financial products, mobile phones and of course, power generators. The company, founded in 1925, is one of the backbones of the US Dow Jones index and is placed among the Fortune 500 list. While CAT mainly focuses on industrial scale generators, it also provides a wide range of portable and household-scaled devices. CAT portable generators are engineered and designed in Mossville, Illinois, and Belfast, Northern Ireland. However, their production is outsourced to China.

Warranty Information

The Cat INV1250 is covered under a warranty for up to 3 years. This warranty may be limited and may not cover all parts of the generator.
For more information about the warranty of Cat generators, please consult Cat's warranty policies (opens in a new tab). Alternatively, you can also contact their Customer Support: 1-844-PWR-ME-UP (844-797-6387).

Questions & Answers

What can it power?
Examples of items that can be simultaneously powered.
The examples below are based on a maximum load of 80% and estimated wattages. For a more accurate estimation, use our generator sizer.
ItemRunning WattsStarting Watts
At homeRefrigerator (energy star)1921192
Set of 5 LED light bulbs5555
Total247 W1247 W
For campingRV refrigerator180600
Coffee maker600600
Total780 W1200 W
For workReciprocating saw730960
Total730 W960 W

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